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2 weeks ago

Android and chill: Reflection and remembrance

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Today we mark the 15 year anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the United States.

While it wasn't the first time terrorists targeted the innocent (it wasn't even the first time it happened in the U.S.), it stands out as something that forever changed our country and the people who live here. I think that's because the attackers were so brazen — hijacking a plane with the intention to kill yourself and as many others as possible isn't something that a sane person can ever understand — but I'll leave the reasoning and explaining to people who claim to be experts because I'm certainly not.

Most everyone who lived in New York or Washington, D.C. has a 9/11 story. And while none of them are happy, not all of them end in the same tragedy. Mine started and ended at a kitchen table.

Most people from New York or D.C. have a 9/11 story. Mine starts and ends at a kitchen table.

I had that day off, I don't remember why. I was sitting at my kitchen table talking to my wife who was making breakfast. She's the cook and I'm the dishwasher because I can burn water. My phone rang and when I answered it was clearly my mother, completely hysterical and trying to tell me about my father. When she realized that nothing she was telling me made any sense, she told me to go turn the TV on. It instantly made sense when I saw a huge hole and burning debris on the lawn of the Pentagon.

My dad worked for the government. He wasn't a spy or anything glamorous, but he was part of an "essential" team that worked in any of three different intelligence offices in the D.C. area. One of them was the Pentagon, and that's where he was when the plane hit according to the list with contact numbers he gave us every week.

Like my mother, I instantly believed the very worst thought that one could have — my dad was dead. To make matters worse, my work phone (a Nokia 5190 that I think I might still have somewhere) rang to tell me that we had people "in the air" who were headed west from Boston and we didn't know the flight numbers. It took a few minutes of digging through papers and making more phone calls to determine that they were on a flight that had left hours earlier and should be safe. It took a few days to find out where they landed and get them home to their own frantic families, but that's another story.

My mother and I had a phone number we could call and leave a message so my father could call us back if we needed to talk to him. I'm not sure what things are like now, but back then you didn't just call a receptionist and have someone paged at the Pentagon, or NRO, or Langley. That number didn't work (of course) nor did the emergency number or the number for anyone else we knew that worked for the Dept. of Defense. My wife went to get my mother and bring her over so she wasn't alone, and I sat with my face in my hands for 20 minutes absolutely certain that my old man would be counted among the victims when all was said and done. Thankfully, when my wife and my mother walked in an hour later, I found out differently.

My father did come home days later. Many other fathers did not. This is why we remember.

My father's boss was one of those important people (or thought he was, I can't tell the difference) and was able to have someone sent to my mother's house in the suburbs to let her know that dad was OK. The messenger, a nervous young man in an Air Force uniform according to my mother, was leaving just as my wife arrived. He had a long list of other folks who needed to know that their fathers (or sons, or wives, or ... ) were safe, too. I wish I had been able to meet him so I could thank him for bringing good news to my family and others exactly when we needed some good news.

It was about 40 hours before dad was able to call us. I was sitting at the same kitchen table with my wife and my mother and I'll never forget dad's answer when I asked him if he was OK — "Yeah. These boots are killing my feet. Have your mother put my sneakers and some underwear in a bag so you can drop them off at the Chantilly gate [another intelligence office that was outside the area] for me. Love you boy." That was so my dad. And I was so happy to hear it. He never got his sneakers or his underwear. But he did get to come home a few days later, when so many others didn't.

If you lost loved ones in any of the four attacks on 9/11, or any of the senseless war and violence that has happened as a result, I'm truly sorry for your loss. I can't say I know how you feel, but I can say I know what that kind of despair feels like, even if just for an hour or so.

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2 weeks ago

The best gamepad for Samsung Gear VR

There's no shortage of Bluetooth gamepads for Android, but with your eyes unable to see your fingers you should be a little pickier about what you are gripping when gaming on a Gear VR.

Russell has been covering Android since the G1, and has had his head in VR headsets since the first Oculus Rift dev kit. Managing editor at VRHeads, video and podcast host, you can follow him on Twitter @russellholly. For suggestions and updates, you can reach him at [email protected]

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Best Overall

SteelSeries Stratus XL

See at Amazon

The folks at SteelSeries have a long history of quality controllers for mobile platforms, and the Stratus XL kicks that up a notch. Instead of focusing on portability and pocketability like the other controllers in this product line, SteelSeries focused on comfort and capability which makes it an incredible choice for the Samsung Gear VR. It has all the quality of a major console controller, with battery life to match and no quirky software. It pairs instantly to your Samsung phone and works with dozens of Gear VR games right out of the box. Stratus XL is an all around quality gamepad, with a layout that is easy to remember when you eyes are in VR.

Bottom line: If you want the best overall gamepad for your Gear VR, SteelSeries is where you want to be.

One more thing: This version of the controller only comes in black. If you see a white version of this controller, it's the iOS-only version and won't work with the Gear VR.

Why the SteelSeries Stratus XL is the best

Everything you need in a gamepad you'll be using without your eyes.

Three things matter most when it comes to a VR-friendly gamepad — comfort, battery life, and durability. SteelSeries has checked all three boxes with the Stratus XL. This is an Xbox-esque gamepad that looks and feels familiar with a button layout you will quickly become comfortable with despite not being able to look down at it while in VR. This gamepad will easily survive the occasional drop when you are spooked in VR thanks to its rugged plastic design, and the use of standard thumbsticks means the chances of breaking them on a drop is unlikely. On average this controller will get you through 30 hours of constant use, which means the only way you're charging this controller once a week is if you are really and truly invested in VR Minecraft. If you do run out of power in the middle of a game, the use of a microUSB port means just about everything can charge this controller quickly.

Best for portability

Moga Hero Power

See at Amazon

Having an Xbox-style gamepad is great for familiarity, but the Gear VR is a portable virtual reality platform and it makes sense that you'd want the gamepad to be equally as portable. That means it stows in a bag easily, and doesn't take up a ton of space. Moga's Hero Power gamepad offers this exact experience, with buttons and joysticks nearly flush with the casing and shorter palm grips that flow in line with the rest of the body. This gamepad also doubles as a more traditional phone gamepad with its foldable phone clip, so you can comfortably enjoy other forms of gameplay!

Bottom line: If you value portability above all, Moga Hero Power is what you want.

Best Value

Beboncool controller

See at Amazon

It's portable, it's plasticky, and it's way cheaper than most other Bluetooth gamepads that play nice with the Gear VR. Beboncool makes a bunch of gamepads for tablets and phones alike, but this smaller controller is perfect for portable Gear VR gameplay. The battery is rated for 12 hours of constant gameplay, but the auto-off feature ensures you'll only be using power when you're actually playing.

Bottom line: If you want a better Gear VR gameplay experience without spending a ton, Beboncool has you covered.

Conclusion

If you're looking for console-class gaming on your Gear VR, SteelSeries is where you want to spend your money. There's always a place for portability, though, and Moga has what you need if you're on the go. If all you really want is an affordable gamepad to save you from constantly tapping the side of the Gear VR while playing your games, Beboncool is a great gamepad at a reasonable price.

Best overall

SteelSeries Stratus XL

See at Amazon

The folks at SteelSeries have a long history of quality controllers for mobile platforms, and the Stratus XL kicks that up a notch. Instead of focusing on portability and pocketability like the other controllers in this product line, SteelSeries focused on comfort and capability which makes it an incredible choice for the Samsung Gear VR. It has all the quality of a major console controller, with battery life to match and no quirky software. It pairs instantly to your Samsung phone and works with dozens of Gear VR games right out of the box. Stratus XL is an all around quality gamepad, with a layout that is easy to remember when you eyes are in VR.

Bottom line: If you want the best overall gamepad for your Gear VR, SteelSeries is where you want to be.

One more thing: This version of the controller only comes in black. If you see a white version of this controller, it's the iOS-only version and won't work with the Gear VR.

Samsung Gear VR

Amazon

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2 weeks ago

Best cheap Android phones of 2016

If you want the best possible experience for a low price, the Nexus 5X from Project Fi is the best deal out there. It's a great phone that has direct support from Google for just $199.

Best overall

Nexus 5X (from Project Fi)

See at Project Fi

Though the Nexus 5X typically retails for a higher $349 (or $299 frequently via coupons), the way the phone makes this list is its amazingly low price of $199 when purchased through Project Fi.

At that price, you can look past the sometimes-inconsistent performance and lackluster hardware of the Nexus 5X, and instead focus on getting a great software experience, strong camera, one-touch fingerprint sensor, solid screen and continued support directly from Google. And even if you decide Project Fi isn't for you, you can simply cancel the service without penalty and keep using your Nexus 5X on another carrier.

Bottom line: Even though it's a year old, this is still Google's phone and it's slated for future updates. It offers a lot for just $200.

One more thing: New Google phones are on the way, and will be arriving in about a month. They won't likely have sub-$200 price points, but if you're worried about being left behind, it's best to wait.

Why the Nexus 5X from Project Fi is best

Even a year on, this is Google's own phone.

When the Nexus 5X first came out, it was playing second fiddle to the bigger Nexus 6P. After a few months on the market with some software updates that really improved the experience it turned into a great choice in the budget space. Nearly a year on, discounts have dropped its price to the point where it's now a fantastic value.

At its original price of $349 it was a bit harder to recommend, but when it comes to getting great bang for your buck things change a bit when it's just $199. For that price you're getting solid hardware, a fantastic one-touch fingerprint sensor, a good screen and a very powerful camera. Cheaper phones may offer you a handful of those features, but none of them hit them all at this price.

And what really makes the Nexus experience is the software — not only is it distributed directly by Google, meaning it was one of the first to get the latest Android 7.0 Nougat update, it's also fast and packed with great features. Because of this, we have a Nexus 5X a year on that's actually more powerful and capable than it was when it launched — not all phones can claim that.

If you think that 16GB will be too tight for you, you can buy a 32GB model for just $50 more, and even at that price the Nexus 5X is still a great phone.

Best outside U.S.

Moto G4

See at Amazon

The Moto G line basically created the high-value low-cost phone segment, and years on has kept making great options that start at amazingly low prices. The latest, the Moto G4, builds on the same formula. You get a 5.5-inch phone that gives you a solid screen, 13MP camera, long battery life and most of Moto's great software features.

On the downside, the Snapdragon 617 processor and 2GB of RAM can sometimes come up short if you have expectations set by more expensive phones, and the hardware doesn't exactly feel inspired. But you have to give in somewhere.

Bottom-line: You really can't go wrong with a Moto G4 — it's the inexpensive phone that all other inexpensive phones are measured by.

One more thing: If you want to endure ads on your lock screen, Amazon will sell you a Moto G4 for $50 off.

Best to be unique

Honor 5X

See at Amazon

The Honor 5X is a perfect example of where the $200 price point smartphone market is headed. For a remarkably good $195, the first Honor phone to officially launch in the U.S. packs a metal body, decent screen and fingerprint sensor. The hardware certainly feels worthy of a higher price point.

The only drawbacks to the Honor 5X come in the software. Huawei's EMUI is still an acquired taste with some questionable features and things that still don't work quite as we might hope. But, there's a lot of good stuff, too, and some really useful features baked in.

Bottom-line: The Honor 5X is still a decent buy, and has gotten a lot better with its Marshmallow update.

One more thing: You might also consider the Honor 5C, which has far less spectacular build quality but a speedier CPU.

Best under $100

Moto E LTE (2015)

See at Amazon

Motorola's second-generation Moto E adds LTE to the mix, while retaining more of the premium features from more expensive Moto phones than ever before. You're looking at a basic 4.5-inch qHD (960x540) LCD display, and a Snapdragon 410 processor running the show in the LTE model (which is the one to buy).

Beyond that, the latest Moto E is an unspectacular but solid budget offering, with a decidedly basic 5-megapixel rear shooter and chunky plastic construction. It does have Moto's excellent software experience going for it though, and has been updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. For well under $100, it's a great buy if you're on a strict budget.

Bottom-line: The Moto E LTE gets you basic smartphone functions and doesn't feel as cheap as the price tag would lead you to believe.

One more thing: Don't expect an update to Android 7.0 Nougat on the Moto E.

Best in Europe

Wileyfox Swift

See at Amazon

The Wileyfox Swift is the British company's first Android phone and has every right to be taken notice of. It cost's a ridiculously cheap £129 and packs Moto G matching hardware while undercutting it on price.

The display is nice, the battery life is pretty good, the overall appearance is on point and the software provided by Cyanogen is slick, speedy and bloat free. It's not available officially outside Europe right now, but it's absolutely one of the best cheap phones money can buy. And with recent offers dropping the price to just £99, it really is a bargain.

Bottom-line: For those in Europe looking something a little nicer than a Moto E, with a fresh software experience, the Swift is a good choice.

One more thing: Don't be tempted by the lower-end Spark or Storm. The Swift is the only one we recommend.

Conclusion

If you don't want to spend over $200 and still want a great Android phone, the Nexus 5X from Project Fi is the way to go. Google supports it directly with software updates, and the hardware and features on offer are fantastic for the price.

Best overall

Nexus 5X (from Project Fi)

See at Project Fi

Though the Nexus 5X typically retails for a higher $349 (or $299 frequently via coupons), the way the phone makes this list is its amazingly low price of $199 when purchased through Project Fi. That's right, if you are using Google's own Project Fi service, you can pick up a Nexus 5X for an absolute steal. You can even finance that $199 price over 24 months with no interest.

At that price, you can look past the sometimes-inconsistent performance and lackluster hardware of the Nexus 5X, and instead focus on getting a great software experience, strong camera, one-touch fingerprint sensor, solid screen and continued support directly from Google. And even if you decide Project Fi isn't for you, you can simply cancel the service without penalty and keep using your Nexus 5X on another carrier.

Bottom line: Even though it's a year old, this is still Google's phone and it's slated for future updates. It offers a lot for just $200.

One more thing: New Google phones are on the way, and will be arriving in about a month. They won't likely have sub-$200 price points, but if you're worried about being left behind, it's best to wait.

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2 weeks ago

From the Editor's Desk: The point of no return

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Galaxy Note 7

The Galaxy Note 7 will always be 'Samsung's exploding smartphone.'

It's not been a great week for the Galaxy Note 7, following on from Samsung's unprecedented global recall earlier in the month. The following have happened in the past seven days:

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2 weeks ago

Android Central 305: Recall me maybe

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Audio-only stream below

This week's podcast is [insert spontaneous combustion joke here]! It also heralds the introduction of a brand new member. Join us!

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2 weeks ago

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 review: Another budget winner

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

The quick take

When it comes to budget smartphones, the Redmi series from Xiaomi is a force to reckon with not just in China, but also in markets like India – the company's second home.

Xiaomi launches phones in quick succession, and pushes the envelope further each time. There's much hype, and a lot of anticipation. Not undeserved, one would say. Launched in China last month, the Redmi Note 4 is a turbo charged Redmi Note 3, and the all-metal budget smartphone looks set to be another winner for the company.

The Good

  • Metal chassis with 2.5D glass display
  • Beautiful Full HD display
  • Long battery life
  • Great price

The Bad

  • Average camera performance
  • Micro-USB, not USB Type-C

About this review

I used the Chinese retail variant of the Redmi Note 4 that ran MIUI 7.3 out of the box, but there was an update for MIUI 8 available immediately. For most of the time, I used it with an Airtel 4G SIM in Delhi NCR.

I used the 2GB/16GB variant which had about 9.5GB of internal storage available out of the box. There's also a higher-end variant with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

Redmi Note 4 Design

The Redmi Note 4 carries on Xiaomi's design ethos. Apart from rare aberration, most devices in the Xiaomi portfolio look alike, and the Note 4 looks just like the Redmi Pro. That's not a bad thing, really. Xiaomi makes good looking budget smartphones and the Note 4 is no different. There's nothing special, but the industrial design works for most.

However, while the metallic chassis on the Redmi Pro sports a smooth back, there is a hint of cheapness on the Note 4 with rugged surface which gives a feeling of it being less "solid" than the former. Of course, you get what you pay for. The curves on the edges at the back aid the grip, and makes it a nice phone to hold in the hand.

A successor to Redmi Note 3, there are only a few subtle changes on the Note 4. While both phones boast of a full metal unibody design, the Note 4 sports 2.5D curved glass on the front that exaggerates its style. There are changes here and there but unless you look closely, it's hard to differentiate between the two.

At 175 grams, the Note 4 is not light, although it doesn't get too overbearing in the hand. However, since it packs a massive 4100mAh battery, most users who are picking the Note 4 for long battery life would want to overlook this.

Redmi Note 4 Hardware

Category Features Operating system Android Marshmallow 6.0 with MIUI 7.3 Display 5.5-inch IPS LCD
1920x1080 Processor 2.1GHz deca-core Mediatek MT6797 Helio X20 RAM 2GB / 3GB Internal Storage 16GB/64GB
MicroSD up to 256GB Battery 4100mAh Rear Camera 13MP, f/2.0, PDAF
Dual LED flash Front Camera 5MP, f/2.0 Dimensions 151 x 76 x 8.4 mm Weight 175 g

Xiaomi's always looked to pack in a punch in terms of specifications, and the Note 4 is no different. It boasts of MediaTek Helio X20 processor – clearly a high-end processor in a budget smartphone.

Increasingly, smartphone makers are bundling 3GB RAM in budget devices as well, but Xiaomi has chosen to keep it at 2GB for the lower variant. For a heavy skin like MIUI, that is just about okay. More available memory never hurt on Android, and you might want to look at the higher variant, which also quadruples the internal storage from 16GB to 64GB.

That said, the Remi Note 4 performs well on daily usage. Multi-tabbed browsing, interface navigation, and even playing graphic-intensive games is a breeze. The processor offers good enough grunt for most apps and games. It does stutter sometimes when multitasking and the culprit is most often the lack of available RAM.

The Note 4 includes a hybrid SIM slot, so if you'd want the dual SIM functionality, you'd have to be contended with inbuilt storage it offers since you won't be able to put in a microSD card. Another reason to pick up the 3GB/64GB variant.

One of the biggest disappointments of the Note 4 is Xiaomi opting to put in a Micro-USB port instead of the newer USB Type-C. Yes, it's a budget smartphone and Micro-USB is not dead yet, but a smartphone coming in second half of 2016 should've been better.

Otherwise, the Note 4 is a winner all the way. The fingerprint sensor works great, and unlocks the phone in a quick snap each time. There's also an IR port on the phone so that you can use it as a universal remote controller. Also, the Note 4 packs in the latest version of Bluetooth v4.2.

Redmi Note 4 Display

The Note 4 sports a beautiful 5.5-inch display panel with 1920x1080 resolution — good for a density of 401 ppi. The 2.5D arc glass accentuates the display. It's vivid with great viewing angles and the colors and contrast are perfect. For a budget device, the display on the Note 4 stands out as one of the highlights.

Outdoors in sunlight, the display is a tad dim, and I preferred to keep it at maximum (or high) brightness than what was set automatically. Still it's crisp and consistent from different viewing angles.

Redmi Note 4 Software

While I assumed the Redmi Note 4 comes with the latest version of the company's proprietary UI, the MIUI 8, it wasn't the case. On first run, I was greeted with MIUI 7.3 running on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

But then, there was MIUI 8 Stable waiting for me, and I updated immediately. While customized Android skins are a matter of personal preference, MIUI has been able to garner a large fan base. And credit where it's due, it's not misplaced. Xiaomi works hard on MIUI bringing features, UX tweaks, and nifty utilities to augment the Android experience.

One of the highlights of the MIUI 8 is Second Space that allows a user two configure two profiles on a device – like virtual desktops so to say. It allows you to keep separate apps or separate layouts for distinct personal and work needs.

Then there's the new Dual Apps feature which allow you to run two instances of apps like WhatsApp that don't allow multiple sessions with different accounts otherwise. Well, I don't have any use for this feature personally, but a lot of people, especially the ones who use two SIMs, have always wanted a functionality like that.

MIUI 8 also boasts of 'Quick Ball' similar to the assistive touch on iOS. You can configure it for frequently used apps and actions on a single tap for easy accessibility. While it is very handy for phablet, Note 4 users would only appreciate it if one-handed usage is a big deal – like for those who take long daily commutes to work or school.

Redmi Note 4 Battery life

One of the highlights of the Redmi Note 4 is its superb battery life. Of course, it packs in a big battery at 4100mAh, but there's also enough power optimizations under the hood that makes it last long – really long. While there's no USB Type-C, the Note 4 does include MediaTek PumpExpress 2.0 technology for fast charging.

On moderate usage, you could stretch the battery life up to about two working days. For a power user like me, it lasted me whole day of being out and about and still had some juice left at the end of the day. Pokemon Go fans, rejoice!

Redmi Note 4 Camera

Unlike the last few Xiaomi devices, the primary shooter on Redmi Note 4 fails to impress. Yes, it's a budget device and manages to click decent pictures, but Xiaomi itself has been one of the companies at the forefront of spoiling budget smartphone buyers offering too-good-to-be-true internals, camera, and build quality.

The 13-megapixel rear camera unit sports a dual LED flash. It does manage to click some nice photos with a decent depth of field effect, but the color reproduction and saturation is not the best. In not exceptionally bright conditions, like indoors or on a gloomy day, the photos are just okay. In well-lit conditions, I did manage to snap a few good ones on Auto mode.

The Note 4 has a great display, but once you take some of those average photos off the phone, you'd notice that the contrast is a tad off. The focus is spot on and quick though, almost the best in any Redmi devices till date.

The camera interface on the MIUI 8 is slick and offers a variety of options with seamless user experience. I'm hoping a firmware update would come soon to improve the camera performance. It's not a bad camera, mind you, but with some of the budget devices – including last couple from the Xiaomi stable – impressing in this critical component, we've started to expect more and more.

Redmi Note 4 Bottom line

The Redmi Note 4 is a pretty good smartphone for its price. It's a capable performer and a decent snapper, but there's nothing exceptional about it. Except the price of course.

If you're in India, you'd not get this variant, mind you. Due to an ongoing legal tussle with Ericsson, Xiaomi cannot sell MediaTek-based devices in India. So, like in the past, Xiaomi will come out with a Qualcomm-based Redmi Note 4 for the Indian market. Hence, there is also a chance, Xiaomi only launches one variant of the same which would then most likely be the 3GB variant, or so we hope.

Should you buy it? Probably

At CNY 899 for the lower specced variant and CNY 1,199 for the higher one, the Redmi Note 4 is a value-for-money device, just like the Redmi Note 3 was. It's not perfect, but at the price, you should be okay to adjust expectations here and there.

Available in three colors – silver, gray, and gold – at the moment you can pick one from the TinyDeal.com, the popular Chinese online retailer for $169.

See at TinyDeal

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2 weeks ago

Action Launcher's September update brings rumored Pixel phone features

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It's September, which means another update to Chris Lacy's excellent Action Launcher, our favorite third-party launcher.

This month, Action Launcher offers a set of features that are rumored to be coming to the upcoming Pixel phones when they are expected to launch next month. Many of the improvements, such as swiping up from the dock to reveal All Apps, have been built through leaks and off-hand experiences.

The full change log is below:

  • Integration of Nexus Launcher's rumored All Apps drawer. Swipe up on the dock to reveal All Apps.
  • Two new Nexus Launcher inspired style folder types!
  • Add tinted dock background.
  • Customize the colors of All Apps, folder icons and the dock background via Quicktheme.
  • Add caret (^) page indicator.
  • Add Google "pill" widget.
  • Add date widget.
  • Many miscellaneous bug fixes.

I've been using the September update on my Moto Z for a month or so in beta form and have to say it is one of the most easily-recommended launcher experiences on Android, period.

Download: Action Launcher (free)

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2 weeks ago

Transport Canada advises airline passengers not to place Note 7 in checked baggage

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Transport Canada has issued a statement about taking the Galaxy Note 7 on planes following a global recall and subsequent statement from the FAA.

In the statement, the airline regulator recommends Canadians traveling with the beleaguered device "be carried in the cabin, where an incident can be immediately mitigated," and to avoid keeping the phone in checked luggage where a fire "could easily overwhelm the fire suppression system of an aircraft."

The move mirrors a similar statement by the FAA, which "strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage."

The full statement from Transport Canada is below:

The purpose of this safety advisory is to advise air operators, passengers and crew of the risks involved in transporting the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone in checked baggage or inside the cabin of an aircraft. In light of recent incidents and concerns involving the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, Samsung announced on September 2nd, a global recall and replacement program for millions of these devices because of batteries exploding or catching fire.

Lithium-ion batteries that typically power these devices have the potential to overheat or short-circuit if they are defective, mishandled, or not packed properly. In turn, this can lead to a fire and cause a chain reaction with other lithium-ion batteries nearby. This type of fire could easily overwhelm the fire suppression system of an aircraft.

For this reason, Transport Canada is advising air operators, passengers and crew of this safety risk and recommends that Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices be carried in the cabin, where an incident can be immediately mitigated, and not in checked baggage. Transport Canada also strongly recommends against using or charging these devices in the cabin of an aircraft.

Canadian airlines Porter, WestJet and Air Canada will also be reminding customers about this policy through announcements prior to takeoff.

Earlier today, Samsung Canada told Android Central that new stock of the Note 7 would be arriving as early as next week for those who have turned their phones in to their carriers or directly to Samsung. The company is working with Health Canada to expedite the recall process.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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2 weeks ago

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission working with Samsung for proper Note 7 recall

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7

We're one step closer to quickly getting all of these Note 7s replaced.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced it's working with Samsung for a complete and proper recall of the Note 7 in the U.S. Currently, Samsung's Note 7 recall isn't an official "recall" in the U.S. in terms of how the government is involved — it's technically a voluntary replacement program, even though you should absolutely swap out your Note 7 for a new unit.

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2 weeks ago

The best adult apps for Android

In an ocean of apps done poorly, these rise to the top.

If you're reading this, chances are you have an awesome pocket computer running Android at your disposal. Today's Android phones and tablets can pretty much do anything, and that includes things of an adult nature. We want to help you find and see that content the best way possible.

Android After Dark

It's a big world out there, and it's not all Rated G. Welcome to Android Central's NSFW section — home to sex, booze and other stories of an adult nature. It's not for everyone — especially if you're underage —and that's OK. Be adult. Be respectful. And be responsible.

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

We're not here to condone or condemn anyone or anything — and by all means let's keep things legal — but we feel that adults using their Androids to peruse adult content is just fine and dandy. We bet a good number of you guys and gals feel the same way.

If you don't agree, that's cool, too. We also are firm believers in the "live and let live" philosophy, and fully respect your opinion and support your right to have it. We also advise you to not click through the break if you think you might be offended. We love you regardless.

Don't worry, we're not trying to push any boundaries or limits (too terribly far), we just want to share a list of the best ways to find and browse adult content on Android. And do it in an adult way.

Namaste my friend. Namaste.

Article updated September 2016

There are countless ways to see adult content on your Android out there, covering a broad range of subject matter. This is our list of the best of the best, and ones we feel confident to recommend. Be sure to tell us in the comments if you know another we should have a look at. Sorting through apps is a tough job, and we always love hearing input about the great stuff we need to check out.

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2 weeks ago

Best MetroPCS phones

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Best MetroPCS Phones

MetroPCS offers some great phones to go along with its affordable plans, and we're going to find the one that best suits your needs.

MetroPCS gives you the opportunity to not break the bank when buying a phone without a contract, but most of its phones are mid- to low-end when considering specs. They do offer some high-end phones, which we've featured on this list. Coupled with their affordable plans, you might not be able to pass them up.

We'll be updating this list regularly to keep current with new phones!

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

MetroPCS brings you Samsung's latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S7 — a surefire choice for anyone looking to upgrade or anyone just stepping foot into the smartphone game. Enjoy the latest from Android with 6.0 Marshmallow, and shoot photos to your heart's content with a 12MP Dual-Pixel camera. The Galaxy S7 is able to charge wirelessly, and has 32GB internal storage you can upgrade to 200GB with a microSD card.

Color options are limited with MetroPCS: the Galaxy S7 comes in Onyx Black only.

If you're thinking about going with the Galaxy S7 but want to learn more, check out our review:

More: Samsung Galaxy S7 review

See at MetroPCS

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung's previous flagship, the Galaxy S6, was released in 2015 and received stellar reviews. Its 16MP camera with image stabilization is a great feature for anyone who loves to shoot photos, and features a brilliant display that compliments Samsung's first effort towards unibody design for their flagship brand.

MetroPCS gives you gold and white color options when choosing your Galaxy S6.

More: Samsung Galaxy S6 review

See at MetroPCS

LG Stylo 2 Plus

Need a bigger screen? You might want to try the 5.7-inch Stylo 2 Plus, one of LG's budget phablet devices. The phone is slim, offers decent battery life, and features a removable battery and expandable storage. And if drawing or penning notes is your thing, there's a stowable stylus that comes with a suite of compatible apps. Just bear in mind that while the phone's Snapdragon 430 processor is capable enough for everyday tasks, it's not exactly a gaming powerhouse.

See at MetroPCS

Bring your own device

If you don't want to shell out the money for a Galaxy S6 or S7 and don't want to settle for a lesser phone, MetroPCS allows you to bring your own phone to their service. Before you pull the trigger have a look at MetroPCS's restrictions when it comes to using your own device with their service.

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2 weeks ago

What you need to know about U.S. carrier plans and subsidies

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Can I still buy a smartphone with a carrier subsidy?

I forgot what it's like to actually buy a smartphone. I've been living in a bubble because of my privileged position as a former smartphone reviewer and I missed out on the fact that carrier subsidies aren't really a thing anymore.

Back in the day—that is to say, a mere two years ago—you could purchase the latest smartphone at a significant discount after signing on for another two years of service. But in the last year, U.S. carriers have effectively changed their policies so that their customers have to either finance or lease their smartphones, or just buy them outright.

Are there any major carriers still offering subsidies? The answer is, not really. But that doesn't mean that purchasing your next smartphone has to be a daunting experience. Here's what the four major U.S. carriers are offering in terms of upgrades.

Tip: Most of the major carriers have special offers throughout the year that could save you some cash on your next device. For instance, Verizon offers up to $300 trade-in value for your old smartphone when you upgrade or add a line on select devices. These deals change from time to time, but like buying a car, if you can wait to upgrade until the next promotion, it could afford you some major savings.

Verizon Wireless

At present, Verizon only offers two smartphone buying options: Financing the phone with monthly payments, or buying the phone outright. By default, Big Red will allow you to pay for your phone over the course of 24 months, or two years from your purchase date. For instance, if you wanted to buy the 32GB Samsung Galaxy S7, you'd be paying $28 a month until you reach the $672 retail price. Alternatively, you could also put some money down, like $200, and only pay $19.67 per month for 24 months. Unfortunately, you can't pay extra towards the balance of the phone each month after the fact, though you can choose to pay it off entirely at any time if you have the funds.

Big Red will allow you to pay for your phone over the course of 24 months.

Long time customers have a little more luck. Verizon stopped offering subsidies to new customers late last summer, but if you were on contract at that time and you're only now considering an upgrade, you can still buy your next smartphone at a discount until Verizon decides otherwise.

AT&T

Like Verizon, AT&T allows you to pay for your smartphone over time or in one lump sum. There are is an option if you're aching to upgrade early on, however, and depending on your credit, you might even have the luxury of paying off your phone slowly, up to 30 months after initial purchase.

AT&T Next is a bit more flexible than Verizon's offering.

AT&T's financing plan is called AT&T Next, and it's a bit more flexible than Verizon's offerings. For example, if you're looking to upgrade to the 32GB Galaxy S7 edge and you have a good credit score, you can choose to put nothing down and pay $36.50 a month for 30 months. You could also lower your monthly rate by adding on an optional down payment and then choose to pay off your device over 24, 18, or 12 months if you qualify.

AT&T also offers a Next Every Year program, which makes you eligible for a discount on a new phone with a trade-in, but only after your current device is halfway paid off (this takes roughly one year). And if you cancel your service in the middle of paying off the device, you'll have to pay it in full before you can leave.

Sprint

If you're a Sprint subscriber, you can choose to lease your phone, buy it outright, or pay for it in monthly installments.

Sprint's leasing program works similarly to leasing a car. You choose almost any phone you want and then pay for it over the period of 24 months. At the end of the lease, you can choose to pay off the remaining balance on the device, trade it in for a new model, or continue paying month-to-month until you figure out what you want. There's also a $5 monthly Early Upgrade option, though you'll have to have paid toward your device for 12 consecutive months before you can upgrade to a new phone. And if you're crazy for every new Samsung device, you can sign up for the Galaxy Forever leasing program.

Sprint's leasing program is a bit problematic. You don't actually own the device unless you choose the purchase option and should something major happen to the device in your care before it's paid off, you'll be liable for the Damaged Device Fee unless you're enrolled in the Total Equipment Protection plan, which also costs a monthly fee.

Sprint's leasing program is problematic in that you don't actually own the device.

At the end of it all, Sprint's leasing program doesn't sound like the best deal. You'll have to pile on program fees just to ensure you're not paying up the wazoo at the end of the lease, and if you decide to keep the phone, you'll actually be paying more than the current value of the device at the end of the leasing terms. The full terms of Sprint's leasing program are here.

It's also unclear if Sprint has done away with subsidies. On its cell phone upgrades page, Sprint says, "If you have completed a 2-year commitment, you can upgrade to another discounted device if you enter into a new 2-year Service Agreement." This applies only to those customers that are paying at least $40 a month for their bill.

T-Mobile

T-Mobile's Jump program costs $10 a month and includes device insurance. Once you're signed up, you'll pay for the device in monthly installments, and after it's halfway paid off, you can trade it in for a new one.

T-Mobile will let you pay for your phone outright or in 24 month installments.

Like Verizon, T-Mobile will also let you pay for your phone outright, or in installments over 24 months, though you may have to fork over a down payment depending on your credit score. At the very least, that down payment goes towards the full price of the phone. You can also choose to pay extra each month so that your phone is paid off sooner, though you'll have to file that separately from your monthly bill so that it's registered in the system as a device payment.

Lastly, T-Mobile offers a leasing program called Jump! On Demand, which is great for smartphone enthusiasts who are keen on having the latest and greatest but don't necessarily want to commit to shelling out all the cash at once. You'll essentially be making monthly payments to use the phone, though you'll never actually own it. The upside you can walk into any T-Mobile store and trade your months-old phone in for a new one, up to three times in a year. But it also means that you can't get too attached to your daily driver.

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2 weeks ago

India's civil aviation ministry also advises against using the Note 7 in-flight

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India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation is the latest to advocate against using the Note 7 in-flight.

As Samsung proceeds with the Note 7 global recall, India's civil aviation ministry has issued a public notice advising users to not use the phone in-flight. The move follows similar statements from the FAA, and several Australian airlines as governments and carriers work to prevent any untoward incidents.

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2 weeks ago

Is the Galaxy Note name ruined?

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The internet never forgets. But it does forgive.

Yes, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has a bit of an image problem. It should be under close scrutiny right now.

You can't ignore that the Note 7 can catch on fire or explode because of an issue with the battery, or that Samsung thinks everyone who bought one should return it for a replacement or refund. That's like a giant blinking sign that the elephant in the room carries around. Even the FAA is getting involved (as they should) which keeps people talking about it — which is also a good thing. We need to keep talking about it until everyone who bought a Note 7 knows. It's completely understandable that there is legitimate concern about this phone in particular and Samsung phones in general — that's just how people are. Caution is hardwired into us as a survival mechanism.

But will this whole exploding Note 7 thing ever go away or has the Galaxy Note line been sullied forever?

Samsung will keep selling millions of phones. Some of them will be Galaxy Notes.

While this is a bit more severe, I can't help but think about the iPhone 4 and its antenna "issue." While no phones were destroyed and nobody was put at any immediate risk, it was still a thing that affected the tens of millions of devices sold and continues to affect the millions of people still using it in 2016. And it certainly caused a ruckus — one that was compounded when the late Steve Jobs suggested that owners were holding it wrong. The original issue was frustrating, and Apple's response even more so. Folks couldn't stop talking about it and how horrible Apple was and all manner of nonsense about how the iPhone name is tainted filled the internet. Eventually, things had to be settled in court. Fast forward to 2016 and iPhone sales have hit the one billion mark because, in the end, we either forgot or just didn't care.

I'm not trying to say the Note 7 has, ever will have the same popularity that the iPhone enjoys. But this does give us some insight into how much we're willing to tolerate and how soon we will forget things — even if they were never made right. I think for most people the same thing will happen with the Galaxy Note.

Plenty of people will return their Note 7 for a refund, and buy something else. Plenty of others will not buy a Note 7 simply because of concerns about the battery, or being unsure whether they're buying a "new" model. Samsung is certainly going to miss their target for projected sales. But plenty of people will buy or replace their Note 7, and once the dust settles we'll all have moved on to the next object of internet concern and/or outrage. And when the Note 8 comes around, jokes will be made and the noise level will go up a notch, but the people who love the Galaxy Note will still love them, and still buy them.

Samsung needs to make things right, and they will. We need to keep reminding them until that happens.

Samsung will be OK, and the millions of dollars they may lose because of the Note 7 recall will just come out of the billions they earned from the rest of their mobile products and washing machines and components and self-propelled armored 155mm howitzer artillery pieces. They will keep doing what they do best and will sell phones by the millions. Some of them will be Galaxy Notes.

The Galaxy Note 7's image may be a little tarnished, and perhaps rightfully so. But that doesn't mean it is going away or that it ceases to be a damn good phone. We're still going to care about it and so will plenty of other people. Expect to see it given the full treatment that it deserves here at Android Central, but also expect us to also hold Samsung's feet to the fire until everything is taken care of, and folks aren't at risk from a bad phone.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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2 weeks ago

BB-8 now comes in a battle-damaged Special Edition with Force Band!

5

It still won't give you a thumbs up, though.

BB-8 is adorable, fun to play with, and without a doubt one of the most successful Star Wars toys to arrive with The Force Awakens last year. Sphero, the company behind this clever robot ball, promised several updates to BB-8 over time and so far has delivered in big ways. BB-8 will sit with you and watch The Force Awakens now, and holographic projection messaging has improved several times over the last year.

The biggest update to BB-8 is coming in the form of a wristband that will control the bot instead of your phone. It's being cleverly dubbed Force Band based on how you move your body to control BB-8, and to celebrate its launch Sphero is releasing a battle-damaged special edition of BB-8 with one of these bands in the box.

While you can absolutely buy the BB-8 Force Band without a new robot attached, the updated visuals on the Special Edition reflect BB-8's journey in The Force Awakens. Spoiler alert, this little robot has seen some shit and his outer shell absolutely reflects this by the end of the movie. If you never got around to picking up a BB-8, this could be the perfect way to get everything in one box. If you already own a BB-8 and can't help yourself, that's cool too. No judgement here, just happy little bloops and smiles as this robot rolls on by.

See at Amazon

Sphero BB-8

Amazon Best Buy

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